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December 2004
Future Projects: : An Interview with Ashanti

Future Projects: An Interview with Ashanti

By Wilson Morales

R & S sensation Ashanti will be starring in a Muppets film, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz next year and she briefly spoke about the lead human on that film. She also discusses her latest album, Concrete Album, which hit stores this past Tuesday.

What's it like to work with Muppets?

Ashanti: (Laughs) Definitely a different experience! I had a lot of fun doing "The Muppets Wizard of Oz". I really forgot that I was talking to people's hands because the Muppets have facial expressions and personality and it was just really a great experience.

Were you a Muppets fan prior to the movie?

Ashanti: Yeah. I used to watch the Muppets. My favorite of all-time was Fragile Rock. I cried when it went off TV.

How is the transition like from little role to the lead in the Muppets movie?

Ashanti: Oh man! That hit me like a ton a brick. Being Keira in Coach Carter, I had to come like maybe two days out of the week. 2pm in the afternoon and maybe 10pm at night. With the Muppets, it was like 5 am, like 1am. It was a lot of hours. I was in Vancouver and I didn't like the food. Being the only human in the movie for a large percentage of the time, and with the difference angles and the different height, I guess it's just the aspect of it. They had to hold me on these big human life size skateboards and it was a different experience, but it was fun.

What's the release date for the film?

Ashanti: I believe May of next year.

Your album comes out this week.

Ashanti: Yes!!! "Concrete Rose" is out this coming Tuesday, December 14th in stores near you.

Can you talk about the meaning of the title and how you have grown and the success of the first cut from the album?

Ashanti: Well, we came up with "Concrete Rose" because when you think of hip hop, you think of something grimey, grundgy, and gridy like concrete. And when you think of R & B, you think of something really soft and sensual like a rose. And with my music being hip hop and R & B, hence "Concrete Rose".

Can you talk about the first single and how well it's doing so far?

Ashanti: Yes, the first single is called "Only You" and the reception is incredible. I'm so happy about it. It was really a different record for me and with me being a person that likes to take challenge, it was really important because it's my third album and we had a lot of success with the first album and with the second album I wanted to do something really different because that's what keeps people interested in you; when you are making different kinds of moves and you're succeeding with it. It was a little scary and we didn't know what was going to happen but it all worked out and I'm really excited about it.

How do you feel this album is different?

Ashanti: The album is different because, first of all, it's done by a variety of producers. We hooked back with Seven Aurelius. He did my first album. He didn't do the second one. We worked with Jimmy Kendricks and his brother J. It's just a little deeper and a little harder. I've gone through a lot in between albums and I've displayed certain things I have never spoken about before that literally happened to me. It shows the maturity, and it shows the growth. You can feel it. Even visually, you can see from my first album to my third, there's been a maturing process.

Where you glad to be working with Ja Rule again?

Ashanti: It's always a pleasure working with Ru-ski. I think he's in Africa right now.

Have you decided on a second single yet?

Ashanti: We're not sure. We're sort of twisted, which is a good thing. When the record is so hot, which, by the way the title of one of the cuts. When you have an album that has a lot of potential singles, it's hard to choose.

Were you ever approached to do a cut for the soundtrack for this movie?

Ashanti: We actually were supposed to do the entire soundtrack but unfortunately it would have been a conflict with my album. I might have a cut on the score, maybe. I don't even know.

Are you planning a tour?

Ashanti: Most definitely. We actually want to do a tour with the entire The Inc. family, which is myself, Ja Rule, Lloyd, and Black Child. He's the next artist off The Inc. and we are looking at Spring 2005.

Is there a remix to "Only You"?

Ashanti: I think there are like 4 of them out already, just with different rappers getting on them. Not sure if we are going to do an official remix. I have an idea that me and Irv (Gotti) were tossing around but I'm not sure.

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